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Buying Overseas in Spain

With the property market showing signs of recovery, is now a good time to buy in Europe’s favourite holiday destination, writes overseas property expert Simon Conn.
In spite of the negative press attention it has received, Spain still remains as popular as ever for British buyers in search of an overseas property. Its close proximity to the UK and year round perfect weather, means it is an obvious choice for those seeking a new life in the sun.

Following the recent economic crash, it was inevitable that the market would soon start to pick up as other economies flourished and the number of mortgage enquiries is definitely on the increase.

The property market still has not fully recovered, but there are some potential bargains to be had at the moment. However, these ‘bargains’ do need to be investigated thoroughly – both legally and structurally. The problems UK buyers have faced with Spanish property has been well documented in the media and we are all too familiar with images of someone’s property being bulldozed as a result of crooked developers.

When buying in Spain there are many areas to choose from and the Costa Blanca, Costa del Sol and Almeria remain as popular as ever. Costa Blanca has an abundance of golf courses and with the long awaited Paramount theme park set to open when the economy recovers, the area is only going to continue to grow. The Costa del Sol has the more upmarket resorts of Puerto Banus and Marbella, which continue to attract wealthy buyers. Almeria is not as developed as the Costa del Sol and its villages are much more traditional offering visitors the chance to enjoy ‘authentic Spain’.

Outside of mainland Spain prices remain high in the Balearic Islands and the desirable resorts of Mallorca and Ibiza are among the best places to buy property in the world. The Canary Islands also have the advantage of being warm all year round and provide the perfect winter getaway for people living in the UK.

Once you have found a property you want to buy, a reservation agreement is usually made, which takes the property off the market for 30 days in return for a fee. If the contract is signed within the reservation period than the fee is deducted from the agreed purchase price.

Before contract is signed it is important that your independent lawyer checked everything is ok with the property, such as the correct planning permission etc. Once the contract is signed legal ownership is then transferred in the office of the Notario – a public official appointed to perform certain legal duties in the district – who prepares the conveyance document.

Purchase and re-mortgages are currently available in Spain with a maximum loan to value between 60%-70% over a maximum of 30 years, or until the age of 70. There is a minimum loan amount of €60,000 and a minimum value price of €100,000, but no maximum and interest rates start at approx. 4.00%/5.00% in Euros.

Please note that the maximum loan to value and interest rates will vary depending on the client’s personal financial status, the size of loan and the purchase price/valuation.

This article was first published here

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Details correct when this article was originally posted on May 16, 2014.